GÖTTINGEN, Germany — Does your voice reveal more about your lifestyle and character than you realize? People appear to convey at least a few parts of their personality through speech, according to a study out of Germany. Researchers say that those with a lower-pitched voice are more dominating, outgoing, and are more open to casual sex. The results are consistent for both men and women.
“People’s voices can make a huge and immediate impression on us,” explains Dr. Julia Stern, at the University of Göttingen’s Biological Personality Psychology Group, in a statement. “Even if we just hear someone’s voice without any visual clues – for instance on the phone – we know pretty soon whether we’re talking to a man, a woman, a child, or an older person. We can pick up on whether the person sounds interested, friendly, sad, nervous, or whether they have an attractive voice. We also start to make assumptions about trust and dominance.”
To reach their findings, the team analyzed information spanning four different nations and more than 2,000 people. Compared to similar studies, the authors say their trial boasts the largest sample size.
Participants completed personality questionnaires and submitted recorded audio clips of them speaking so researchers could evaluate the pitch of their voice via a software program. It was the first instance an investigation of this sort has employed an objective digital assessment of voice pitch instead of subjective evaluations of voice depth. The team gathered data on sexual behavior, personality, and “sociosexuality” level — that is, their likeliness to engage in casual sex.
Among other personality characteristics, information was also gathered regarding neuroticism, sociability, receptivity to experience, cordiality, and exactitude.
Results show that people with voices of a lower pitch were associated with more dominance, extroversion, and sociosexuality. Meanwhile, the link between the pitch of a person’s voice and other personality traits like cooperativeness, neuroticism, self-control, or openness was not as clear. It’s conceivable that these characteristics aren’t reflected in voice pitch.
There was no variation in results between men and women, according to the study.
The results are published in the Journal of Research in Personality.